Bleacher Report doesn’t list St. Louis Cardinals as a contender. Why?
In a list of 12 contenders in baseball, Bleacher Report didn’t list the St. Louis Cardinals. Here’s why I feel like they should have been mentioned.
The St. Louis Cardinals entered the 2022 regular season with World Series aspirations. Thus far, they are 24-19 and only 3.5 games behind the Brewers in the National League Central. Yet Bleacher Report did not include them in a list of contenders.
They did not give their reasoning, so it’s up for debate, but it caught me off guard that the Cardinals were not listed. Their offense, which by all accounts has underperformed, especially with Tyler O’Neill struggling mightily, still ranks tied for fifth in runs scored with 208. Their rotation ranks middle of the pack (3.86 ERA) and is bound to be upgraded in some way, shape or form at the trade deadline and that doesn’t even include Jack Flaherty’s return in the coming weeks. Their bullpen ranks 17th in ERA (3.66).
Sure, their pitching staff may not be elite. But with two, perhaps even three new arms, it should be on the verge of a top-10 in baseball. And combined with an offense that has been very good and has the upside to be dominant, that makes them a contender – at least to me.
Perhaps their reasoning for not listing the Cardinals simply comes from the competition in the National League. Just look at who they are up against. The New York Mets (29-17), Los Angeles Dodgers (29-14), San Diego Padres (28-16) and Milwaukee Brewers (28-16) all have higher winning percentages than the Cardinals right now. The San Francisco Giants (24-19) have the same record. That’s not even including the reigning World Series champion Atlanta Braves, who have struggled to start the season (21-23), and yet remain in second place in the NL East.
So that may very well be the reason that the Cardinals did not make their list of 12 contending teams and you know what, it makes sense. I get it. But to me, the Cardinals are a contender until they prove otherwise. It’s just hard to bet against a team that has Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt and so much other talent throughout the roster.